CADIE DESBIENS-DESMEULES [QC-CA]
Alter Ego, 2020
5th International Digital Art Biennial
Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal
11.19.2021 - 02.13.2022
Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules is a Canadian media artist working between generative art and live performance. Her practice is either site-specific or installation-based, spanning multiple surfaces or immersive environments. Drawing on her background experience as a journalist, she casts a critical eye over technological trends with artworks that provokes thoughts and internal discussions around how we relate and engage with new technologies. Desbiens-Desmeules has presented her work worldwide, including digital art festivals and art galleries such as TodaysArt (NL), the International Symposium for Electronic Art (ISEA) and Somerset House (UK).
In 2019, We Are Europe (WAE) selected Desbiens-Desmeules as one of the 64 artists, speakers and public figures they consider the most inspiring European personalities. Desbiens-Desmeules is currently based in Lisbon, Portugal.
Instagram #love, #me, #girl - 2020/11/11, GMT 8:59:56 PM
Technique: custom software and generative adversarial network (GAN)
Alter Ego is a generative video installation exploring the increasing role technology and artificial intelligence play in the course of humanity.
Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules turns the technology back on itself, hacking Instagram’s API to present an unfiltered glimpse of human activity before it is skewered by algorithms. Images posted on Instagram are rearranged to take the form of AI-generated “influencer” faces (GAN). These faces act as a visual representation of Instagram’s otherwise invisible hand – the artificial intelligence algorithm that effectively shapes the behaviour and content created by its users.
Using the popular hashtags #love, #girl and #me, the artist is able to display the images that are being posted globally. Taken individually, these images give an insight into the zeitgeist of our times, showing how our behaviour is bent under the influence of the platform. The resulting composite faces reflect mainstream conventions of beauty and how the platform encourages a certain type of content.